“Colors, Textiles and Ritual Procedures in Ancient Mesopotamia (1st Millenium BC)”

Conférence donnée par Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel dans le cadre du workshop international : Textiles in Ritual and Cultic Practices in the Ancient Near East from the Third Millenium to the first Millenium BC, organisé par Salvatore Gaspa et Mateo Vigo, Copenhaguen, 6-7 octobre 2015.

Résumé de la communication

In a ritual described in the Utukkū Lemnūtu incantations (Tablet VIII), the exorcist, cladded in a red garment, has to don a red scarf against the evil spirit. The malevolent demon will then be afraid and flee from the bod of the patient. In Šurpu V-VI, one of the ritual gestures consists of the destruction of a red wool by fire to cancel the actions of sorcery. On the other hand, blue wool is involved in rituals and medical procedures, and is sometimes melted with black, white or red wool.

In ritual contexts, a particular attention seems to have been given to the colours of textiles and their raw material. Specific properties and cultural concepts associated with colours may have justify their use, taking part into the efficiency of the procedure. Focusing on various ritual texts of the 1st millennium BC, the present paper will question the possible links between colors and garments, visual or tactile properties and textiles.


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